Skip to main content

USGS Patuxent Veterinary Hospital

veterinary medicine in a research setting. USGS Patuxent Wildlife
Research Center is the largest wildlife research institution in the US.
We have a staff of 150 doing many differenct types of wildlife research.
To support this research, we have animal colonies, primarily birds,
numbering about 1200 animals. Currently we have 70 endangered whooping
cranes, 120 sandhill cranes, 250 American kestrels, 100 screech owls,
150 seaducks of 5 different species, several hundred quail, 60
endangered Shennandoah salamanders and 100 red-backed salamanders.
Veterinary students will work with the veterinary staff on the day to
day medical needs of these animals and participate in any ongoing
research projects.
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is the largest wildlife research
institution in the Department of Interior. We have colonies of whooping
cranes, sandhill cranes, kestrels, screech owls, and various diving duck
species. Work is 40 hours weekly, usually weekends off. Work centers
around colony animals (medicine, clinical pathology, necropsies, limited
surgery) and needs of research staff. Housing is available, but needs
to be arranged in advance. No compensation or stipend. April through
November preferred as there is little research and no breeding activity
in winter.
have a full service veterinary hospital with a clinical pathology
laboratory. We run all hematology, serum chemistry and parasite analysis
in house. We have a fully equipped surgery area with isoflurane
anesthesia, laproscopes from miniature 7 mm diameter to large
gastroscope for removing foreign bodies from whooping crane gizzards,
orthopedic and soft tissue surgery capabilities, radiology, nubulization
therapy, etc.

Patuxent has a library facility with one of the largest collections
of books and other materials on avian subjects, including a veterinary
section. The research facility is housed on a 12,840 acre National
Wildlife Refuge with one of the largest visitor centers in the US
Department of Interior highlighting wildlife research work done at the

The hospital staff currently consists of two veterinarians, both
with PhD's who in addition to seeing to the daily health needs of the
wildlife research animals, conduct their own research programs.
mentioned above, the institution houses a large library collection of
works on various aspects of avian biology or ornithology, including a
section of veterinary books and journals. Other journals are available
online or through inter-library loan. The National Agriculture Library
is 20 minutes away, and the National Library of Medicine about 40
minutes away at the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Olsen has taught veterinary students at Louisiana State
University and continues to teach in a class on wildlife diseases at the
nearby University of Maryland in College Park. He offers students
one-on-one lectures on avian and wildlife disease subjects of interest
to the student. Dr. Gibbs works with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on
a national wildlife disease monitoring program and discusses this
program with the students.

There is a monthly zoonotic disease continuing education meeting and occasional resident rounds at a nearby zoo.
are asked to assist with the medical care of patients as their
capabilities and skill levels allow and as they are trained to
administer medications and treatments. Students will assist in surgery,
though our surgical case load is usually not heavy. Students would be
encouraged to perform simple surgical procedures such as wound repair,
under supervision. Students will have opportunites to perform many avian
physical examinations, obtain diagnositc samples such as blood, and to
evaluate clinical pathology samples. Students will have the opportunity
to perform necropsies. We ask students to prepare a short (30 minute)
talk on some aspect of avian medicine to share with our veterinary and
animal caretaking staff at the end of their time with us. Time and
resources such as Powerpoint are available for this project.
Students will work closely with the veterinarians 8 hours a day, 40 hours per week, possibly some weekend work.

The veterinarians are always available to students. If the student
has interests that align with other researchers on staff, such as
toxicology or contaminants or rearing and training whooping crane
chicks, arrangements are made for students to spend time with these
Yes, housing is available either in the veterinary hospital intern quarters or in a nearby building on our campus.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
12302 Beech Forest Road

Laurel, MD 20708
301-497-5600, 301-497-5603 (Dr. Olsen's office)
Glenn H. Olsen, DVM, PhD
Posted: 04/03/13
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Elective categories: